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I Ching: The Classic Chinese Oracle of Change - The First Complete Translation with Concordance Paperback – 27 Jul 1995

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Product details

  • Paperback: 816 pages
  • Publisher: Element Books; New edition edition (27 July 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852306696
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852306694
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,066,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Synopsis

This is the oldest Chinese divinatory oracle, with roots going back over 3000 years; its 64 hexagrams were devised to mirror the unconscious forces that shape events and moments in our lives. This English translation, based on 40 years of research, has six pages on each hexagram. It aims to help readers to recognize and resolve anxieties, fears and desires, and to connect with their unconscious and creative imagination.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 Jun. 1998
Format: Paperback
I have used together all of the listed books, Wilhelm, R.-K., and so on, in a personally directed self-development program for my current life-cylce, i.e., middle-aged and in Crisis, haha, {who among you has not hit the Turning Point and had to examine your life to date and what you wanted to do with what you have left?} and have found that by referrring back and forth to interpret the hexagrams I get, I have "grown up" quite a bit.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Aug. 1999
Format: Paperback
This voluminous book contains the complete I-Ching. This is THE I-Ching reference!!! When most book are happy with about one page for each hexagram, this one gives you at least TEN pages for each hexagram, with an exhaustive list of related links and attributes. This is a marvellous book i recommend to any serious I-Ching student!!!
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This translation is very different to many others in that it is not a direct translation in the sense of using words that fit together in an English sentence but one that is literally literal.

Each word/character of the original Chinese is individually translated with several possible meanings in a kind of dictionary/thesaurus lexicon. This has it's obvious advantages and disadvantages; namely that it will allow the non-Chinese person to form their own meanings and translations of the words and characters themselves rather than relying solely on the translators' whim or knowledge, or that it can confuse and frustrate the reader with a bombardment of information that may not make sense. The former would be apparent for someone who has read many translations of the I Ching and wishes to form their own or those that like to be free of the translators' bias. The latter would be apparent to those who are beginners and haven't yet understood the I Ching (in which case, they should get an established translation such as the Wilhelm which makes reading and understanding easier).

In any case, even though it is good to be able to form one's own translation and obtain the meanings by oneself, the book alas lacks one essential component to this: the actual Classical Chinese text. Instead, only the Wade-Giles romanization is given for each character. It would have been more helpful for the Chinese text to be included because then you would be able to look up the actual characters in a dictionary and grapple with more meanings and to see how they fit in with modern usage which would be a beneficial element to its use and understanding. Indeed, grasping the original text can be enlightening in itself.

Therefore, I think this book is for the serious non-Chinese I Ching readers/diviners. Beginners are better off with an established translation and those with a grasp of Chinese should look to the original Classical Chinese text.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Nov. 1998
Format: Paperback
An exelent translation! It is the freedom of mind and choise encorporated here that is important: Keeping one's symbolic patterns autonomous in growth when useing the text is an oppurtunity of mind-enhansment in tactic/stategic action on one hand, while keeping a critical-historical bottumline on the other. even with scarce chinese (if at all) background but whit just some phylological trainning in the Classics and Hebrew and judeo-christian culture, and as an eager practical-western-modern "divinator" - I'VE FOUND THE USE OF THIS BOOK A GUIDE IN WIDDEING THE HORIZONS OF MY INSIGHTS EVEN AS A TEACHER AND CONSULTANT IN OTHER AREAS OF SYNCHRONISTIC PRACTICE (SUCH AS ASTROLOGY). IT SHOULD BE A MUST FOR ANYONE PLANNING A PROJECT OF TRANSLATION OR EXCHANGE OF CULTURAL CANONS ONTO A UNIVERSAL ARENA. Nevertheless, The most blessed of Barriers, the one of NON-DETERMINIZM present therein, ENTAILING A GREAT DEAL OF PRACTICE IN ANNIHILATING "DEAD-END UNDRSTANDING" OF THE TEXT.
Thus, it could take some time until this book is regarded as it should be: A UNIVERSAL SOLUTION FOR AN ALMOST "RELIGIOUS" CANON. READ AND USE GRADUALY; COMPARE IT WITH ANY OTHER TRANSLATION IN THE PROCESS. YOU WILL FIND YOURSELF TRANSFORMED!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
The Chinese Oricular Classic... from a Western Perspective. 2 April 2004
By Cailia - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
3 1/2 Stars for this translation.
This translation of the I-Ching (Yi Jing), a 3000+ year old Chinese divination system, offers more than the ever-so-common literal translation of the famous Chinese text that many of the modern translations boil down to, which is good, and bad.
Karcher has relied upon his knowledge of Jung's psychoanalytical methods, and understanding of how the human mind functions, to reveal the I-Ching as a solid and effective psychological tool to unlocking one's own insights. This translation was written to help the individual to connect with his or her inner-self, unlock the creative and reasoning abilities of the mind, and find answers locked deep within. I'll get to my issue with this in a minute.
The material covered in the Chapters includes:
PART I
Introduction to the I-Ching
- What is the I-Ching
- The Name of the Book
- What is Divination
- Origin, History and Development of the Classic of I,
Using the I-Ching
- This Translation
- Questioning the Oracle
- Getting Answers
- Reading the Response
- Keywords: Traps for Tao
- Encounters with the Oracle
The Global System
- Divination and Traditional Science
- The Time Cycle
- Yin & Yang: Struction and Action
- Yin & Yang: Choice and Change
- The Five Transformative Moments
- The Trigram Cycle
PART II:
A Quick Guide to the Oracle
- Hexagram Texts and their Functions
- Orthography and Punctuation
A List of the Hexagrams
- The Section of the Hexagrams
The Hexagrams 1 to 64
PART III
Concordance
Further Reading
A Key to the Hexagrams
Karcher's approach to the I-Ching has its advantages in that it explains the I-Ching with an understanding of how the mind, itself, works, which may be very helpful for the analytical-minded.
My issue with this translation is that it is handled from a Western psychological approach, which, in my honest opinion, takes away from the Chinese *philosophy* behind it, and reduces the open-ended, free-flowing nature of the work that allows for multiple-interpretations. So, this is a reasonably good translation, but not a great one.
If you are looking for a *logical* approach to understanding the I-Ching, this text certainly wouldn't hurt! It may do well for you. BUT, I would recommend using this text along with another that provides a solid understanding of the Chinese philosophy and thought behind the I-Ching (something sadly lacking in many Western Translations).
"The Complete I Ching: The Definitive Translation" by the Taoist Master Alfred Huang is probably the best English translation of the I-Ching available, as it was written by someone who not only truly understands the culture and philosophy of the Chinese Taoists (he's a Taoist from China himself), but has gone to the effort to kept the open-ended feeling and multiple-interpretation nature of the work in tact.
Best of luck to you.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Masters of the Universe 22 Nov. 2004
By Hakuyu - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This version of the Yi-Ching evidently suits some people. But I have a number of reservations about it. It's strong point is that it consciously taps into a 'Jungian' agenda. Jung's ideas are certainly complementary to aspects of the Yi-Ching. But this 'Jungian' perspective is exaggerated, affecting the way the material is approached. My chief reservation here, is the way the translation was kept semantically vague, in the hope that it would somehow reflect something of the open-ended quality of the Chinese text. In this respect, the authors try - perhaps too hard, to do their readers work for them, unpacking bits of line symbolism piecemeal, without making their intrin- sic connection clear. I suppose this was meant to widen the psychological parameters - presenting a kind of larger 'Rorcharch' ink-blot to look out, as it were. It was an interesting experiment - which has its applicability, but at times, the readings seem needlessly obscure. For example, in

# 7 Shih: The Army - why be so literal, putting 'Left' - when it is clear that 'Left' means to be in 'retreat' - and 'right,' to advance. Again, it seems arbitrary to translate 'chang-tzu' as 'Longer-lived brother' - when it clearly means 'elder-brother' - in contrast to the Ti-tzu, or younger brother. Why this excessive thirst for unpacking detail? - when the primary symbols - from the Chinese point of view, are the 'kua' (i.e. trigram relationships). Although the authors noted the 'inner' and 'outer' trigrams etc., their relevance is almost displaced, by the focus on breaking down line texts. When it comes to a 'Jungian' type approach to the Yi-Ching, I don't think anyone has bettered Carol Anthony's books -summing up the archetypal situations reflected in the kua/hexagrams, without all this semantic obfuscation.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
inscrutable yet strikingly direct 10 Dec. 2008
By S. Ellsworth - Published on Amazon.com
The I Ching is a tool, or a formalized framework, for accessing your own intuition. Most versions of it have commentaries that lead you through the meaning of your answer in a very friendly and accessible way. This book takes a different approach: It leaves the original text in a verse form adhering as closely as possible to the Chinese original, word-for-word. Then it gives a range of possible meanings for each word from the verse. The result is something less verbose, and more directly reaching my feelings and intuitions -- which has allowed me, over the years, to get far more out of the I Ching, as a bold and clear window into life, than I might have otherwise had.

I have the hardbound edition, and have been using it since it came out -- about ten years ago I even had to have it rebound. It's fantastic, and an esthetically pleasing book as well. Its only shortcoming is that it doesn't use the newer pinyin system of transcribing Chinese words.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The whole package listed is a work-together package 25 Jun. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have used together all of the listed books, Wilhelm, R.-K., and so on, in a personally directed self-development program for my current life-cylce, i.e., middle-aged and in Crisis, haha, {who among you has not hit the Turning Point and had to examine your life to date and what you wanted to do with what you have left?} and have found that by referrring back and forth to interpret the hexagrams I get, I have "grown up" quite a bit.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
the best text i'v used ever on the subject - digestive!!! 13 Feb. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
i have used the chou for years - but since 1995 - my students, co-users and other practical people concerned - we all share the sheer appreciation of those who can choose and understand. nevertheless, beginners must be led some way a-head.
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